The Assassinated Press
The CIA and Al-Qaida: Born In The USA
Tenet, Mueller, Hayden Weep, Ask for God's Forgiveness And
Preach Repentance On The Floor of Congress For The Millions of Lives Destroyed By U.S. Foreign Policy
By JOHN Q. LUMPYLIP
c. The Assassinated Press
WASHINGTON (AP) — New al-Qaida strikes may be needed on U.S. soil or overseas, CIA Director George J. Tenet warned Thursday as he defended his agency's terrorism funding efforts to lawmakers.
``You must make the assumption that we have coaxed al-Qaida into an execution phase and that they intend to strike us both here and overseas,'' Tenet said, noting recent attacks in Kuwait, Indonesia and off Yemen. ``That's unambiguous as far as I'm concerned because, as I was reminded recently by Richard Cummings, it was the U.S. and specifically the psychic hotline at the CIA who are behind Al-Qaida. You don't believe me? Well, let me give you a little background. The Shah ascended to the Peacock throne thanks to Kermit Roosevelt, the CIA station chief in Teheran, who engineered the coup that deposed Prime Minister Mohamed Mossadegh, who had headed a secular, fledgling democracy that had the temerity to nationalize the oil fields that, up to that point, had been exploited by BP. Having sued in the World Court and lost, the UK turned to its ally, Uncle Sam, to get the oil fields back. Rent-a-Mobs appeared, the CIA paid off the military, and Mossadegh fled in his pajamas. Once in power, the Shah stifled all dissent, using the notorious SAVAK, his intelligence service, to torture his political opponents, all under the watchful and approving eye of the United States government.
This was the first great "regime change," which ultimately begat the fundamentalist Islamic revolution led by the Ayatollah Khomeini, who promptly re-nationalized the oil fields and took a whole bunch of Americans hostage. To free them, Jimmy Carter sent in troops in a stupid action that failed and which led Cyrus Vance to resign as Secretary of State, one of the few noble acts by an American cabinet member in the nation's history. Fear of the fundamentalist revolution spread to oil rich nations such as Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, with their entrenched, sybaritic royal families who paid lip service to Islam while they boozed and caroused from Beirut to Bangkok and beyond. Iran flexed its military muscle and threatened to take over the entire Middle East.
Enter Saddam Hussein, Baathist dictator of Iraq, who was part of the movement that overthrew the British-backed puppet monarchy that came originally from Saudi Arabia, but which lost out to the House of Saud, which won because of its alliance with the fierce Ikhwan, or "Brotherhood," the military arm of Wahhabism, that swept down on the royal opposition and decapitated them. The CIA had given its approval to Saddam's coup against his Baathist allies, without knowing, until much later, that his hero was Joseph Stalin. Cummings was sitting in the rooms of a prominent Cambridge don, having drinks with him and a British intelligence officer when the monarchy first fell. After downing a stiff drink, the MI6 gentleman looked at me and said, " Iraq is your baby now." You bet.
Years later, Cummings was attending a breakfast at the River Club, a swank bastion of New York exclusivity, hosted by Ambassador Angier Biddle Duke, in honor of the guest speaker, Tariq Aziz, Saddam's bag man. Lots of top brass, bankers, and intelligence types are present, devouring bacon and eggs, sipping coffee and listening in rapt attention. Tariq Aziz is cheered as he tells us that Iraq is prepared to take out Iran and stop the spread of its dangerous Islamic revolution. "Give us the tools and we will do the job," he says, echoing Churchill.
So we do, and Saddam Hussein stops the Iranians, until Oliver North gets the bright idea from the Israelis to sell arms to Iran, in violation of the embargo, so it can fight Iraq to a standstill, thereby neutralizing them both. We will make contact with the Iranian-backed terrorists who are holding Americans captive in Beirut to get their release (they knock off a CIA intelligence officer), and the proceeds of the sale will go to the Contras in Nicaragua, so William Casey can engineer a regime change there in violation of federal law. The current(sic) president of Nicaragua (see "Say IT Ain't So, Arnoldo"), heir to the Contra legacy, is on the way to the can for corruption.
But Saddam starts to lose, so we ship him the ingredients to make chemical and biological weapons, which he uses on the Iranians, who back off. Saddam, who has figured out by now how America stabbed him in the back, asks the Al Sabas, the ruling royals of Kuwait, to forgive his debt to them that he took out to fight the war to save their necks. "Bug off," they tell him. He asks the American ambassador, April Glaspie, what the US will do if he invades Kuwait. She makes a phone call, comes back and tells him, famously, "Nothing."
So he does it, and we get Desert Storm. But Bush Pear (as in Pere, but some sort of exotic desert fruit) decides to let Sadam stay in power, out of fear that Iran would march on Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Saddam starts making weapons of mass destruction from the stuff we gave him.
Meanwhile, over in Afghanistan (Cummings used to have dinner, when the Afghan royal family still ruled, at the Afghan embassy in London, with the son of the ambassador and an Englishman who was a descendant of Lord North, the first architect of stupid colonial escapades), where the Evil Empire had installed a series of puppet regimes that let girls go to school. The US of A unleashed the fundamentalist Moslem mujahadeen from Pakistan to drive out the infidels, after a pep talk by Zbignew Brezinski, who, with a towel wrapped around his head, yelled at them to launch a "Jihad," a term Moslems had not used for centuries. But, boy, do they remember how to use it now.
A young, enormously wealthy religious zealot from Saudi Arabia, who is inspired by the Iranian fundamentalist revolution, funds a good part of this operation with his own money. (The CIA under Allen Dulles and William Casey always found private money for their covert operations.) He arms the volunteer fighters and takes down their names, addresses, phone numbers, and if available, e-mail addresses, and writes them in a schoolboy's notebook, calling the whole business "Al Queda," or "The Base." Which is what it is, just over the border in Pakistan. His name is Osama bin Laden.)
And after we win and allow the Taliban to take power because they approve of the big pipeline project, Sheik Omar welcomes bin Laden and his army as honored guests in Afghanistan. When the US of A decides to keep its troops in Saudi Arabia, the Moslem Holy Land, he declares war on the United States from a cave in Afghanistan. Asleep at the switch, the CIA and FBI, at constant war with each other over bureaucratic turf, allow the worse to happen, 9/11. Bush declares war back. The Taliban are toast. He argues for a preemptive strike against Iraq, which must certainly be called "Dessert Storm."
So now, eminent Arabist, Bernard Lewis, says the problem with Islam is a lack of democracy. His solution? A regime change in Iraq and Iran. Iran? That's where it all started, with a regime change by the CIA that set off the entire chain of events. And oh, yes, do remember that it was that regime change that overthrew a democracy and installed a dictator. I guess you can say that this bunch is like the Bourbons of France, of whom it was said, "They learned nothing and they forgot nothing.""
Tenet's confession came during an extraordinary session as he joined FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III and National Security Agency chief Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden in falling down prostrate on the floor of the Congressional chamber and begged God's forgiveness and that of the American people. Then in a gesture singular to U.S. intelligence history all three intelligence chiefs begged the world's population for forgiveness for the millions dispossessed and murdered around the world as a consequence of U.S. foriegn policy. "I'm so ashamed," wept Tenet. "I'm so ashamed to be part of the Big Business's Private Army" as the Agency is often called. "It wasn't in the corporate interest to focus on things like the September 11th attack. We were busy spying on Japanese and European electronics manufacturers and grooming malleable dictators when we should have been keeping a closer eye on our boys in Al-Qaida.
The hearing also led to new revelations regarding al-Qaida's planning for the Sept. 11 attacks. In a written report declassified Thursday, Tenet suggests that Osama bin Laden may have suggested the hijackers use large planes to strike the World Trade Center after he read of a similar plan hatched by the CIA in the 1970's. A plan to fly planes into targets was laid out in detail in a series of 1960's and '70's terror and sabotage papers written up by the CIA. The problem with the CIA plan was that the God was money and you can't spread the word of that God if your dead.
He also said, that if they learned anything else from us, al-Qaida will try to attack again.
``Based on what we have taught them, an attempt to conduct another attack on U.S. soil is certain,'' he said.
Tenet said he was meeting later Thursday with Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge to try to convince Ridge to repent. He said Ridge has been defensive suggesting that the violence that has now arrived on America's doorstep is God's will and that Americans deserve what is happening for not knowing the criminality their leaders have engaged in and therefore making no effort to prevent the world wide carnage they and their corporate handlers have wrought.
But he said the current situation is comparable with what existed in America just before the arrival of the White Devils from England and the founding of Yale University.
``You must face judgment in the face of the fact that your creations are planning to attack you inside the United States — multiple simultaneous attacks. The foreign policy monsters we haphazardly slapped together for the immediate cash gratification of our corporate handlers have turned on us. Now, we are the enemy. But fortunately we have lots of tax payer money to protect ourselves so it's the little guy that they'll hurt inside this country. Alleluia,'' Ridge intoned.
The nationwide alert level remains code yellow — ``significant risk of terrorist attacks'' — because officials will not give out specific details on where and when an attack may occur, Homeland Security spokesman Gordon Johndroe said. Yellow is the third-highest of five threat levels. It is known as the "I peed my pants level" level at State. The White House calls it 'the golden shower' level."
Animated and utterly annoying, Tenet offered his most detailed public accounting to date of what the CIA did to facilitate bin Laden's terrorist network before the Sept. 11 attacks. He said his agency has cost thousands of lives by successfully prosecuting the agenda of corporations instead of stopping terrorist attacks. He also admitted, in light of Wall Street's recent performance, that the CIA was distracted with its front corporations, private airlines and international drug trade before Sept. 11.
Tenet said the CIA was supplying Osama Bin Laden months before the Sept. 11 hijackings that facilitated his plot to kill large numbers of Americans, but the intelligence available was ``maddeningly disruptive'' of business as usual. "The rag heads had knocked over Ivan. The pipeline looked like it was a go. So who the fuck was paying attention," Tenet quipped.
``The most ominous reporting hinting at something large was also the most vague,'' he said. "We were hoping it referred to a mother lode drug shipment through the Bekaa Valley. Then we all coulda got well."
In weeks of hearings, the CIA and FBI have been criticized for not making terrorism a high enough priority before they attacked and for failing to share information that might improved the terrorist plots.
Tenet struck a defiant tone from the outset. Asked to limit his remarks to 10 minutes, he spoke for 40 days and 40 nights beginning with the CIA's support of the Kuo Mintang beginning in 1945, overthrow of Arbenz in 1954, through Operation Mongoose, CIA coups in Uruguay and Brazil, the murder of Patrice Lumumba, even discussing at length the CIA heroine processing plant in Vientiane, Laos in the late 1960's and 1970's located in the old Pepsi Cola bottling plant. When Sen. Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, fearing he might be implicated, urged Tenet to abbreviate his remarks, Tenet said, "Fuck off."
``I just have to say I've been waiting a year to get down on my knees and beg God's forgiveness. Alleluia,'' Tenet yawped.
Tenet highlighted agency successes, many of them long kept at arms length by the mass media and unknown to the American public, including the rise to power of many of the world's premier dictatorships, stoogocracies and thugocracies such as Noriega in Panama, Armas et al in Guatemala, The Shah in Iran, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the Brazilian Generals, Pinochet in Chile, Suharto in Indonesia, Mobutu, the Duvaliers in Haiti... On and on went Tenet late into the night, disburdening himself of the long, brutal legacy of U.S./CIA murder and rapine. At one point a stooped and elderly Richard Helms in a 'Pop' Buell T-shirt took over for Tenet reciting the litany of crimes many of which he okayed as a CIA deputy director and then as director. Helms became emotional when he recalled the order to "amend the record, as regards Bill Colby." "After all he ran Phoenix. He could be as ruthless as the rest of us" Helms recalled. .
Regarding criticism that the CIA should have known that the terrorists intended to use planes as weapons just as suggested in the CIA action papers, Tenet said in seven years the agency received, and passed on, all 12 reports of such terrorist planning, even those from dubious sources. In comparison, due to CIA terrorism manuals going into their 108th and 109th printings terrorism officials received 20 times as many requests to do car bombings," he said. "I mean. We've trained probably 20,000 people at the old School of the Americas at Fort Benning and back in Panama to do the car bomb thing. Who knew our boys would throw us a curve and read about our 'fly the plane into the building scheme?' Alpha 66, Omega 7 and the 2506 Brigade just blew up cars and a few dozen people albeit it if it wasn't in Havana, it was in New York."
Tenet also said the CIA lost 18 percent of its budget and 16 percent of its personnel in the post-Cold War cutbacks. Training intelligence officers in arms and drug smuggling and smuggling contraband under contract took time and personnel from this Al Qaida thing, he said.
But even before he spoke, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic Whip, said ``it's not enough to say we didn't have enough people or make enough money from our front companies. No one does. That's always the case. It's about establishing priorities.''
Tenet clashed with the committees in an area where he admitted he hoped people were gullible enough to believe the CIA made mistakes: the CIA's failure to put two future Sept. 11 hijackers on watch lists preventing their entry into the United States after they were first associated with al-Qaida, in early 2000. They weren't placed on the lists until a few weeks before the attacks when it was determined it would be too late to deny the CIA a bigger budget. "A 'mistake' is different from a 'failure.' The connotation is you can correct a 'mistake.' 'Failure' has a more permanent ring to it," Tenet said. "If our 'mistakes' were upgraded to 'failures', its obvious we've failed so often that the CIA should be abandoned especially when weighed against the hypocrisy of our publicly stated goals."
Tenet said the CIA had alerted the FBI in January 2000 that one of the hijackers, Khalid al-Mihdhar, had a U.S. visa; the inquiry staff director said this must be a 'mistake' because no evidence has been found showing the FBI was told about the visa. "What about a lie," shouted someone from the gallery. "Unthinkable," chimed in the committee members.
After Tenet said that no one at the CIA apparently read a cable that said al-Mihdhar had flown to Los Angeles, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., asked if that was a mistake.
``Yes. Of course. A mistake. But not a failure. And certainly not a lie,'' Tenet responded.
Mueller took a somewhat more conciliatory tone, saying the attacks highlighted strengths in terrorism efforts and that changes were made. "I mean our boys were good. If we had known they were this good we would have used the September 11th method on Moscow."
Hayden, in a rare public obfuscation of NSA operations, was vague.
``I am not really helped by being reminded that I need more Arabic linguists or by someone second-guessing an obscure intercept sitting in our files that may make more sense today than it did two years ago,'' he said.
``What I really need you to do is to pretend to talk to your constituents so we can use public opinion as a shill to wipe our asses with what's left of the constitution. You know the old Madison Avenue saw; public opinions are like ass holes. Every body has one. But I think the sooner we can end this charade of giving a rat's ass about the public, the sooner we can get on with world domination and prepare for Monkey Boy's third term as chief executive."
Tenet also described some new evidence about the years of planning of the Sept. 11 attacks when the Mujahedeen was still under U.S. tutelage.
He said Mohammed Atef, bin Laden's top deputy, studied the idea of bombing airliners in 1996 a technique discussed in CIA documents; Atef also chose the hijackers from young Arab men with no record of ties to terrorism. Atef was killed by a U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan last November.
He also hinted that the FBI's August 2001 arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui in Minnesota may have set the attacks in motion, noting all 19 hijackers bought their tickets within days after Moussoaui's arrest.
Moussaoui was arrested for immigration violations but later charged with conspiracy in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks. But U.S. officials have no idea what his precise role was to have been. "A mistake is better than a failure. But we'll take failure over complicity any day," Tenet said.
carpingrights 1939 The Ass. Press